1A SNATCH GRIP DEADLIFT ON BOX
MUSCLES WORKED legs, glutes, lower back, forearms
A To increase the number of muscles you’ll rope in-in other words: make the move harder-you need to distance yourself from the floor. Squat on a 15cm box or step and grab a barbell overhand. “This grip will distribute the weight across your back,” says Cosgrove.
B Without rounding your lower back, pull your torso up and back, thrust your hips forward and stand up. Do 3 sets of 6 reps. Superset with the offset dumb-bell lunge, below. As counter-intuitive as it may feel, remember, Working your core and lower body is key to arm size. You need to strength here so you can perform the moves that deliver growth.
1B OFFSET DUMB-BELL LUNGE
MUSCLES WORKED legs, abs, hamstrings, shoulders, forearms
When you’re doing alternating curling movements, one side of your body lifts a weight while the other rests. This throws you off balance and can make you weaker. “To bolster your curl, your core needs to be stable enough to handle being off balance, no move does it better than this one,” says Cosgrove. Hold a dumb-bell in your right hand next to your right shoulder. Lunge forward with your right leg and return to the starting position. Do 6 reps on each side after your set of 1A, above. Rest 1 minute after each superset. Do 3 sets in total. Your legs contain the biggest muscles in your body. The more muscle your work, the more all-over growth you’ll trigger, including in your arms.
2Y, T, W AND L RASIES
MUSCLES WORKED shoulders
When there are this many exercises in a set, it goes beyond a superset and becomes a giant set. It’s hard work, but that’s matched by the dividends: strong shoulders that help your arms shift ever greater weights. Perform this sequence of raises on an incline bench. Do 8 reps of the Y raise, rest 30 seconds, then 8 reps of the T raise, rest again, and so on until you’ve completed the series, that’s 1 set. Do 3 sets in total and if someone puts the village people on the gym stereo, stop immediately.
A Y. Start with your arms hanging straight down. Raise them to shoulder height at a 30 degree angle, the thumb sides of your hand facing up.
T. Let your arms hang with your palms facing forward. Raise your arms straight out to the sides until they’re at shoulder level.
W. Bend your elbows 90 degrees. Without changing the bend in your elbows, raise your upper arms until your palms face the floor.
L. Let your arms hang straight down. Row the weights to the sides of your chest, palms facing behind you. Then rotate your forearms up and back as far as you can.
3A INVERTED ROW
MUSCLES WORKED back, biceps, abs
Start by lying under a bar that’s been secured slightly higher than arm’s length above the floor-imagine you’re hanging onto a windsurfing pole if holidays motivate your gym efforts. Grab the bar with an overhand grip and hang from it with your body in a straight line from ankles to shoulders. “This position forces your abs to work, which is always a bonus,” says Cosgrove. Pull your chest to the bar, pause and lower yourself until your arms are straight. At the top of the move pinch your shoulder blades together and ensure your chest touches the bar. Do a set of 8 reps and then a minute of the prone cobra (below). Rest for 30 seconds and then repeat twice. This move is a great bicep builder and also comprehensively bolsters your upper body strength.
3B PRONE COBRA
MUSCLES WORKED lower back, abs, glutes
A It might sound like a kung fu style but it will actually KO any weakness from your lower back-letting you handle bigger weights on the curl. Stake out some space on a mat and lay face down your arms at your sides.
B Lift your head, chest, arms and legs. Only your hips should touch the floor. Hold the position for a total of 3 minutes, interspersed with the inverted row.
MUSCLES WORKED chest, triceps, shoulders, abs
“Press-Ups do more than rope in your chest, they also recruit your triceps-a huge player when building arm mass,” says Cosgrove.
A Drop into a press-up position and grip a pair of dumb-bells. Slowly lower your body towards to the floor.
B As you push back up, rotate your body to the right and raise a dumb-bell straight above your shoulders. Look up at the dumb-bell and hold it in the air for as long as you can. For each rep, alternate your rotation direction. Do 3 sets of 8 reps per side. After each set do the farmer’s walk and then rest for a minute before starting your next set. Remember, the longer you can hold the dumb-bell up the harder your abs are working. Pity that doesn’t work when you’re standing in front of the mirror.
4B FARMER’S WALK
MUSCLES WORKED hamstrings, calves, quads, forearms
To build big arms you need to continually up the pressure you put them under, which means holding heavier weights for longer. For that you need to boost your grip strength. The farmer’s walk is the perfect grip-strengthener, plus it hits your lower body, so you’ll get some fat-burning thrown in gratis. Grab a pair of heavy-and we mean heavy-dumb-bells and walk for 30-75 seconds. Make it harder by grasping each dumb-bell by its end. Once you feel you can go longer than 75 seconds, switch to heavier weights. Do this 3 times, after each T-press-up. “Having grip strength that outlasts your biceps and triceps, lets you build them to their full potential,” says Chaplin. The only thing you need to curl now is a protein shake.